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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  December 29, 2009 11:00pm-12:00am EST

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occurring, all the flights in the air had been notified to take some special measures in light of what had occurred on the northwest airlines flight. we instituted new measures on the ground and at screening areas both here in the united states and in europe where this flight originated. so the whole process of making sure we respond properly, correctly and effectively went very smoothly. >> the homeland secretary arguing that the response to what mr. abdulmutallab did after he did it was appropriate. once the guy's attempt failed he was subdued by fellow passengers and then crew. he was brought into custody safely. the plane landed safely. the law enforcement and security response teams to have been appropriate after all of this happened. the assertion by janet napolitano that things went well after the incident shouldn't really be all that controversial. unless of course you twist it and take it out of context.
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cue the taking it out of context in three, two, one -- >> said the system worked. the fact is the system did not work. we have to find a bipartisan way to fix it. he made it on the plane with explosives and he detonated the explosives. >> through selective editing republicans have tried to turn janet napolitano's assessment of the response of the bombing into some sort of excuse for the bombing happening in the first place. president obama trying to put an end to that political trickery today by putting napolitano's comments back in context. >> secretary napolitano has said once the suspect attempted to take down flight 253, after his attempt, it's clear that passengers and crew, our homeland security systems and our aviation security took all appropriate actions. >> now we get to see if the media just keeps parroting the republican attack on napolitano or actually report her remarks
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in context. and the fact that republicans are attacking her for saying something she never actually said. with a big assist from the talking point stenographers among my friends in the media conservatives have been racing for the nearest tv camera to try to score political points off of this failed terrorist attack. here's another example. >> i take a look at this individual who has been charged criminally. does that mean he's going to get his miranda warnings? does that mean the only kind of information we're going to get from him is if he volunteers it. he's not a citizen of this country. he is a terrorist. and i don't think he deserves the full range of criminal -- protections of our criminal justice system as abiding in the united states. >> that was the bush administration's first homeland secretary tom ridge lamenting the fact that the christmas day underwear bomber has been indicted and will be tried in a federal court. a federal court. a real federal court, are you kidding? is there any precedent for doing anything so outrageous?
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conveniently, yes. there is an almost exact parallel to this situation in the case of convicted shoe bomber richard reid. richard reid, the shoe bomber, attempted basically the exact same thing as the underpants guy. on a cold and wintry day in december 2001, richard reid was armed with the same kind of explosives. he was also an al qaeda operative. he was also trying to bring down an american airliner. he was also overtaken by his fellow passengers. that plane also landed safely and he was arrested. and you want to know how the bush administration prosecuted richard reid at the time? >> and there's word tonight that richard reid, the so-called shoe bomber accused of trying to below up an american airlines jet has told a federal judge he is willing to plead guilty to all criminal charges against him. >> federal judge? criminal charges? the bush administration tried richard reid in federal court, just as the obama administration is going to try the christmas day underpants bomber guy in federal court as well. the bush administration even
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bragged about richard reid's criminal conviction after it happened. >> in boston, richard colvin reid pled guilty to all counts in the indictment for attempting to ignite a bomb on american airlines flight 63 and to murder 197 passengers and crew. today is a victory for justice and for the citizens who are vigilant in the pursuit of justice. >> former bush attorney general john ashcroft bragging on the civilian criminal conviction of richard reid, the shoe bomber. who was head of the homeland security department at that time? >> because of the vij "los angeles times" of some citizens, we've certainly got some folks on airplanes, shoe bombers. >> tom ridge. richard reid's prosecution was not a controversial issue. in fact, everyone now, including mr. ridge, seems rather happy about the fact that richard reid is serving out a life sentence
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in obscurity at a supermax prison in colorado. still, though, when there's political hay to be made, there's no reason to let complete intellectual incoherence get in your way. take it from here, you guys. >> i think that the administration has made a mistake by treating this terrorist as a common criminal by putting him into the criminal justice system. i wish they would put him into a military tribunal so we can get as much intelligence and information out of him as we could. >> the first and highest priority when you apprehend him is not to make sure he gets his constitutional rights. he's not even a citizen. but to get all of the information you can about where he came from, who trained him, where they are, are there other attacks coming, where are they coming. and if that means, frankly, you have to deny him pain medicine because he's badly burned, i think you go ahead and do that. >> why are conservatives now arguing that this case shouldn't be handled in civilian courts?
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was there something dissatisfying with richard reid the shoe bomber being tried in civilian courts and ending up at a federal supermax prison? if there was something dissatisfying about that, why didn't conservatives complain about that case before now? >> if that means, frankly, you have to deny him pain medicine because he's badly burned, i think you go ahead and do that. >> this isn't about whether or not the underpants bomber guy is going to end up in guantanamo or bagram or a military brig somewhere or federal prison. this isn't about that. this is about some ticking time bomb jack bauer campaign ad where torture is defined as something good and american that democrats are too soft to want to do. this is about sadistic torture fantasies and the effect that conservatives think those fantasies have on american elections. >> and if that means, frankly, you have to deny him pain medicine because this guy's badly burned, i think you go ahead and do that. >> joining us now is spencer
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ackerman, senior reporter for the washington independent. good to see you again. thanks for joining us. the argument from conservatives here seems to be that torture, specifically as pat defined it, denying a man his pain medication after being burned, would glean more information than we're getting right now from this suspect. i know you've been talking to intelligence sources about this case. what are you hearing about whether or not they are getting information out of this guy? >> what's so significant is what you're not hearing, which is that no one is saying that i've been able to talk to or i've heard from my colleagues that they've had any problem getting relevant information from the would be underpants bomber. instead, when he's brought into custody, he cooperates with investigators. he says he's a member of al qaeda. and somehow, this has become a meme over the past 24 hours that we just need to torture the guy because. >> well, it seems like the implicit idea here is that this ticking time bomb scenario is in
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effect and we need to use torture to uncover some impending plot that this suspect is going to know about and will tell us about if we torture him. from what we know about mr. abdulmutallab, does it seem like he's the kind of guy who plays a reasonable role in the ticking time bomb scenario? and what's wrong with that scenario overall? >> well, first of all, the guy, if you can go off the online postings that have come to light over the past day or so, is basically the little lord fonter/of terrorists. he's the whining loner raised and educated in britain off of his wealthy banker father's money, complaining about how lonely he is and how he can't relate to people that al qaeda exploited and basically turned into an aspiring mass murderer. he is, from everything we have ever learned about al qaeda, precisely not the sort of person that they're going to entrust with your deepest, darkest secrets. that's why i would presume law
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enforcement and intelligence officials aren't afraid at all about not getting information from him or needing torture from him. in fact what we learned about torture and it's sad we have to reiterate this, what you get is bad information. you get, for instance, saddam hussein was working with al qaeda, which is untrue. that saddam hussein had active weapons of mass destruction programs, which were untrue. that lead to the sorts of national security disasters that the republican party promoted for the last eight years. >> not to mention wild goose chases. it was through the magic of waterboarding that khalid shaikh mohammed confessed to everything short of kidnapping the lindbergh baby under u.s. custody. one last question for you, spencer. in the case of tom ridge, we now have him criticizing the obama administration for taking this case up in civilian court. he apparently had no such problem with richard reid being brought up on charges 2002. are there salient differences between these cases or is there any other way to sxwar that inconsistency? >> the last time i you is a tom
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ridge he was on the rachel maddow show performing a public mea culpa for all his failings as homeland secretary. i can't think of a sill yanlt difference. the bush administration celebrated the fact that they secured the conviction of reid and they were right to because that's the way america has always worked and that's the way america demonstrates its commitment to the rule of law and to credibly and openly protecting the national security and the safety of its people in relevant harmony with its values. >> spencer ackerman a senior reporter with the washington independent. i know you've had a very long day and much of it on msnbc. so what's the first thing an elected official should think to do immediately following a potentially devastating terrorist attack like the one that we narrowly averted on christmas day? how about fund-raising and union bashing. yeah. leadership ahead. we'll have that story in just a
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moment. later on, one of the original tea partiers, a man who was tea partying before tea partying because a for-profit enterprise joins us to assess what's become of his beloved movement.
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xxstop the first ever rachel maddow show lesson in yiddish. today's word is shanda. a real life example would be cynically funt raising in the wake of an attempted terrorist attack or putting union busting ahead of national security in the wake of a potential terrorist attack. (announcer) we understand. you want time to enjoy the holidays. nature knows just how much water vegetables need. so, to turn those vegetables into campbell's condensed soup, we don't boil it down,
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when you're a member of the minority party nothing spells political opportunity like guy trying to blow up airliner over detroit using explosives in his underpants on christmas day. for republican congressman pete hoekstra of michigan, the failed attack on a northwest airlines flight allegedly by 23-year-old umar farouk abdulmutallab flashed a big green political go signal as in, go raise money for your political campaign, congressman. pete hoekstra is running for governor of michigan. after the attack he rushed out a letter on monday that began, quote --
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you stay classy. congressman pete hoekstra wants to be the next governor of michigan and this is the way he thinks he's going to do it. he's now the ranking republican on the house intelligence committee. in that capacity you might remember him as the guy who spilled a few beans after the shooting at ft. hood in november, telling "the washington post" that u.s. intelligence had been reading e-mail between suspect major nidal malik hasan and a radical cleric in yemen. that was apparently classified information sensitive to ongoing investigations. it had not been released to the public until he spilled the
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beans. you might remember it was congressman hoekstra who championed the idea of posting a hue archive ever uncensored iraqi documents on the web, documents that included a detailed unredacted blue print for structuring an atom bomb completely written in arabic. you might remember the time he went on television with then senator rick santorum and claimed they had found the weapons of mass destruction in iraq. they weren't kidding. >> congressman hoekstra and i are here today to say that we have found weapons of mass destruction in iraq. >> this as weapons -- have been discovered. >> remember, he's the top house republican on intelligence. they've got no one better. now, over in the senate, the hooedker doo audacity responding is senator jim demint in south carolina who in the wake of the attack is crowing about his blocking of the nominee to head the transportation security
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administration. president obama nominated ore yol suthers who runs the police force at l.a.x. to take over airline security, to take over the transportation security administration. a vote on mr. suthers is being blocked by senator demint not because senator demint is questioning whether mr. suthers is qualified for the job but because jim demint things errol suthers might allow them to join a union. he says unionized baggage screeners are a threat to us all. >> when we formed the airport security system, we realized we could not use collective bargaining and unionization because of that need to be flexible. yet, that appears to be the top priority now of the administration. >> did you know that was president obama's top priority? for real? collective bargaining for transportation security administration employees? that's president obama's top
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priority. i didn't know that. huh. you're looking at two pillars of the republican brand here in this i shall ew talking tough on terrorism and being tough on unions. well, today, thanks to senator demint we found out which of those pillars is bigger. senator demint issuing a statement that the christmas day underwear bomber is, quote, a perfect example of why the obama administration should not unionize the tsa. for republican senator jim demint standing against unions is more important than having anyone head up airline security in the united states of america. today senate majority leader harry reid says he will force a vote on suthers' nomination to head the tsa next month. joining us democratic congresswoman, the vice chair of the homeland security committee. thanks very much for joining us. really appreciate it. >> thank you, good evening. >> since the christmas bombing attempt on that northwest flight, politician sltion have been talking about the vacancy at the head of the tsa.
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how important do you think it is as vice chair of homeland security in the house -- how important is it that the tsa get a chief? >> it's incredibly important since i've been sitting on the committee of homeland security since its inception after congress and the president put it in, after september 11th. and every time that we have an audit on what's going on in the department, there are two things that stand out. one, that the morale is the lowest in the department of homeland security. secondly, that there's great vision -- in other words, there's a good mission for that department but that the leadership is very lacking. the management is very lacking. and one of the problems that we've had we haven't yet had a report on that under the obama administration, but that's because it takes a while to fill those positions, those top positions in a department. and the problem we've had is trying to fill those, getting those nominations through the senate. i think it's incredibly important that we fill that position. of course, i know the chief
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personally because he's from the los angeles area. he's at l.a.x. and i've seen his work. i've seen his work under governor schwarzenegger. i've seen his work over at the threat institute there at usc. i've -- you know, so he would be a great addition to the leadership team in tsa and in the homeland security department. >> well, in the other chamber, in the senate, it is senator dee minute who is blocking mr. suthers. and he says his main concern is questions about whether or not mr. suthers would allow bag screeners to unionize. what do you make of that as a reason to hold up this nomination? >> well, i have never heard the chief say that his main mission is to unionize, nor have i heard the obama administration say that that's our main mission within the homeland department. what i know about the chief would be that he knows l.a.x. he knows california. he knows local law enforcement.
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he knows the different layers working together at the state and the federal and as an fbi agent, et cetera. i think he would be great, because one of the problems that we have is there's information coming from different places. we never put it together. i think he would have that overall view to understand that he needs to do that. i've never heard him say, oh, we need to unionize the workers. i think that he would go and take a look at all the issues that are involved with these workers to ensure that their morale increases, that they're doing a good job, that they're alert, that there's a career pattern for them, that it's an important job not just to the worker. it's an important josh to us. >> the senior congressman is hoekstra. he's running for governor in michigan. right after the news broke about the bombing on christmas day, congressman hoekstra sent out a fund-raising letter keyed to the attempted murder of 300 americans. you can probably tell from my introduction that that strikes
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me as uncool. it strikes me as crossing a line of crassness and exploitation of terrorism that seems to me to be inappropriate just in terms of my personal opinion. do you share that opinion? do you think it was inappropriate for congressman hoekstra to go there with this fund raising appeal? >> i believe it's completely inappropriate to do that. look, we cannot afford to politicize the security of our people. we have limited resources in our government to secure our homeland, our people, our interests. and i -- what we've been trying to do and it started under the bush administration and the obama administration is trying to do that -- is to have a layered impact so that we can stop these things from happening. there's never 100% guarantee. nor is there the desire -- none of us want to spend all our money just on security. we have other issues. health care, education, et cetera. so we need to be very smart about how we do this.
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and the last thing we need to do is be republicans or democrats or -- we just don't need to be doing that. and i'm really -- i'm really saddened that pete hoekstra would do that. >> congresswoman loretta sanchez, democrat of california. thanks very much for coming on the show. appreciate your time. we're about to break some serious news on this show. next, joining us here in studio is nbc's richard engel. he's nbc's chief foreign correspondent and is joining us with an exclusive jaw-dropping report from the pentagon about america's chances for military success in afghanistan. this is a report that richard has obtained exclusively. it may change the whole narrative of how we discuss the war. you can wait for tomorrow's newspapers to read about it or you can just stick around for a couple of minutes to see it here. frustrating. (announcer) do you want to givefrin a try? ok. i can breathe through my nose immediately. afrin has made me happy. is that a silly statemen (announcer) afrin. why suffer?
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nbc's richard engel is joining us again tonight in just a moment with some big news he's obtained exclusively about the war in afghanistan. i think that this is potentially narrative-changing, course-changing stuff. he broke the story tonight on "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. we'll have him here in person in a moment to walk us through this document that he has obtained because we are talking about afghanistan. i do want to report first that an american soldier was killed today under worrying circumstances. the defense department and nato are not saying anything about this yet other than to confirm that an american was coiled in a shooting. but it's reports from afghan and italian sources that make this
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so worrying. they're saying that this american was killed by an afghan soldier who opened fire on foreign troops with whom he was serving. two italian soldiers wounded in the same incident in which one american was killed. again, the pentagon and nato saying only that they're investigating but a core commander with the afghan national army told the associated press that this afghan soldier got angry when nato soldiers tried to keep him away from a helicopter that was about to land. italian sources reporting there was no chance the shooting was accidental. it was intentional. now, this isn't the first time something like this has happened, not by a long shot. in november, an afghan policeman shot and killed five british soldiers in helmand proves. in october, two american soldiers were killed when someone wearing an afghan national police uniform opened fire on what was supposed to be a joint afghan/american control. in march, one afghan soldier killed two u.s. servicemen. in july of 2007 an afghan
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soldier opened fire and killed four of his own countrymen and wounded an american adviser. the american was reportedly the target of his rampage. in may of 2007 an afghan soldier shot and killed two american soldiers and wounded two others outside a top security prison near kabul. this is not a comprehensive list of incidents of this kind. we don't have a tally of how many western troops have been killed by the very forces they're in afghanistan to train, but incidents like today's and this even abbreviated catalog of past coarnage of this type rais questions about the nature of our mission in afghanistan even as our president escalates it. the most minimal description of what our forces are there to do is to train and equip afghanistan's military and police so they can defend their country themselves. it appears that at times we are arming them and then they are turning around and training that fire on us. there are also new questions today about whether our mission to train afghan forces, even if it is wise, a question about
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whether it has a chance of succeeding, at least whether it has a chance of succeeding within the time frarm president obama laid out for that mission. with us is nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel. he has obtained a sobering report not meant for distribution but prepared for military commanders by an independent research group. provides an assessment of afghan security forces. nice to see you again. >> pleasure to be here. this report is 25 pages long. was provided for a briefing for the top commanders, centcom commander david petraeus. also c c'd, the senior commander in afghanistan, general stanley mcchrystal and talks about the readiness of the afghan security forces. primarily the afghan national army. to understand the context of this, the main mission of the united states army, all of the different forces that are there is to train the afghan security forces so that american forces can ultimately leave. >> that's the main point of what we're doing?
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>> the number one priority. the reason 30,000 extra troops are going there is to try and create enough security so that an afghan army can be built. i was told this by numerous commanders. number one priority. this report says that that priority is facing serious, serious problems and the military knows it. this was an independent study, if i could read a few things. >> please. >> it talks about how -- this is the opening statement. the ana, which is afghan national army, above company level is not at war. now, company level means the small units. so the soldiers on the ground, they're fighting. above, say 150 soldiers, anything colonel, general, anyone at that level according to this report doesn't believe he's at war. they talk about corruption. this is a quote. nepotism, corruption, absenteeism among ana leaders make success impossible. change must come quickly. another line. if afghan political leaders do
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not place competent people in charge, no amount of coalition support will suffice in the long term. it's more than sobering. it says that this is a serious challenge. it goes on to say that rehabilitating the afghan security forces will not take one year. it will take a long time. >> do they give a time frame how long it would take if it was going to happen? >> no. i've heard that independently from this report they're thinking about four years. and the reason that the dates are important is there is this key -- the key speech by president obama. he said he wants to start dialing back the surge 18, roughly 18 months, the summer of 2011. 18 months from when he announced it. that is impossible, according to this study to get the afghan security forces up and running and in place. and even with some sort of semblance. another key finding in this report says that the numbers of afghan troops and police that
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are on the ground are inaccurate. that some battalions will overreport by 40% to 50%, inflate their numbers. it's a serious -- >> so in short, this internal assessment not meant for distribution, which has been made available to you, which is in itself a story, says at that what we know about the current strength of afghan army and police is wrong, that it's -- >> that they're -- >> it's been overstated. >> been overstated. >> and the timeline the president laid out 18 month can't work. explicitly says it can't happen in 18 months. >> there's a line that says it cannot take a year to fix this problem. and they go on and on describing the problems with the leadership. quote, many ana leaders, afghan national army leaders, work short days, are often absent and place personal gain above national survival. so when you hear all of these things, it should raise a degree
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of concern. if the primary mission -- and i've been told the primary mission is to train the afghan security forces -- it is more than a sobering assessment. it shows we have a lot of work to do. >> if this reflects the view of the military, this says that the military does not believe it is possible to do what president obama says the mission is in -- >> this was prepared for the military. the top commanders want -- and i've been told this, that general petraeus wants realistic, not optimistic assessments. that's a quote from a spokesman tonight about this. they say that this report is not complete yet, that it is a report in progress, and they -- but they do recognize that there are serious shortcomings in the afghan security forces. >> nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel. as i said, i think this is a big deal in terms of thinking about why we're fighting there and what for and whether or not it has any chance of success. you're the only one reporting it. you're the only one who has access to this information. thanks for sharing it with us tonight. what do the tea party
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organizers like even more than painting hitler mustaches on pictures of the president? how about charging those same protesters thousands of dollars to come to fancy tea party events with people like sarah palin? one of the early grals roots tea partiers joins us to talk about cashing in on the outrage. you get a lot of different stuff from her. and it's all right here. everything sent to you organized by the person who sent it. the droid eris. the droid that's as connected as you. exclusively at verizon wireless.
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in the karl rove political playbook, more than one chapter covers the tactic of gay baiting which mr. rove used to knee to recall effect. to quote a profile in the atlantic magazine, quote -- the terrifying threat of gay marriage and the whole sanctity of marriage theme is a political wedge to split the electorate in favor of republicans is of course karl rove's modern political calling card, his bread and butter, his go to campaign tactic. on the sunday after the 2004 presidential election, mr. rove promised voters a renewed effort to ban gay marriage. >> 5,000 years of human history
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should not be overthrown by the acts of a few liberal judges or by the acts of a few local elected officials. >> it is in that context we note with sympathy and without rancor the ending of mr. rove's own second marriage. official rove family spokesperson, former white house spokesperson dana perino released the following statement today saying quote -- with regard to the privacy of this matter, one comment. political figures who respect the sanctity of other people's relationships don't generally have to worry about the sanctity -- about having the sanctity of their own relationships politicized or questioned or brought up on the news. on the other hand, someone who has made his political career out of perfecting the science of denigrating the sanctity of other people's relationships for political gain doesn't necessarily get that same respect. glass houses. you can get the life skills
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he was among the first of this era's political tea partiers. but now the tea parties have become very, very big political business. what is one of the original, stephen gordon, have to say about that? we'll find out in just a moment. i love winter. with my subaru forester and its all-wheel drive... ... handling even the toughest conditions... is just another day at the beach.
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the emergence of the tea party movement on the far right of american politics in 2009 has been a strange and wonderful gift for america's liberals. and it's not just because it's an ancient political blessing
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for one's political enemies to do things that make themselves look extreme or incoherent or just funny, particularly when they don't seem to get the joke. the tea party movement has been a strange gift to america's liberals not only because of how the tea partiers have made conservatism look to the rest of the country, but also because of the homage the tea partiers have paid to the greatest hits of lefty protest tactics. even the ones that never work. just this year they have marched on washington repeatedly, ignoring real crowd estimates to proclaim that theirs were the biggest marches on washington ever. just this month, they tried to make like an act up chapter and announced that they'd be doing a die-in at a senate office building in protest of health reform. nobody actually did die in, but, hey, it's the thought that counts. now the tea partiers have announced their latest attempt at emulating the most grandiose of all lefty tactics. they announced and i quote, a national day of strike. that's the phrasing they're
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using, a national day of strike. at which they will make a national day of point. on the one year anniversary of president obama's inauguration, the tea party patriots say they're planning, quote, the greatest confrontation in the modern history of america. the way the greatest confrontation in the modern history of america is going to go down is that tea partiers on that day are going to boycott american businesses. quote, on january 20, 2010, we will demonstrate our power and reach to those companies who employ individuals backing the leftist agenda in every major city, every congressional district and every small rural town in america to spread one unified message. that message is simple. stop funding socialism. but, wait, it turns out it's not that simple or at least the message has a part two. quote, either renounce this behavior or we will be back on february 27th, 2009, and we will march again against you. see, they'll march in january
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2010 against the socialist companies and if the socialist companies don't repent after january 2010, the tea partiers will be back the previous year. in february 2009. do not mess with the tea partiers who can time travel, you communist companies. you'll be sorry. so good luck to the tea party patriots with their big time travel boycott of national communist companies since they promise it will be the greatest confrontation in the modern history of america. i'm sure we'll be doing wall-to-wall coverage. meanwhile, the tea party patriots are also still locked in battle with other tea party factions who they find insufficiently tea partyish. zachary roth at tpm muckraker today quoting an unnamed tea party activist criticizing another tea party group called the tea party express. the tea party express is part of a political action committee called our country deserves better. it was founded by a republican consulting firm in california, a
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firm talking points memo examined. the federal election commission filings from july through november, they discovered that nearly two-thirds of the money sent by the tea party express pac just went right back to that republican consulting firm. how much did russo, marsh and associates and people associated with it make from the brainchild that they had, the tea party express, in just five months? they made $857,122. which if you want to do the math, carry the exploitation, works out to be enough money to buy themselves 1,561 tickets to the first ever national tea party convention. there's the tea party patriots with the national day of strike, there's the tea party express with the repaying of the republican consulting firm, then there's the tea party nation which is organizing first national tea party convention in february in nashville. tickets are $549.
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the main event at the conference is a banquet and keynote speech by sarah palin. if you cannot afford more than $500 a ticket to go to the event, you can go to the sarah palin part of it for a mere $349. which is starting to make this feel less like a grassroots movement and more like a grassroots harvest. he's a libertarian political consultant and blogger from alabama. he was ron paul's state media coordinator. really nice to see you again. thanks for joining us. >> hey. good evening, rachel. how are you? >> great. thank you. when we talked back in april about the takeover of the old school libertarian pea party idea, you said on the show, it's important that people at the grass roots level stick to our guns and say no when they try to co-opt our message. in the intervening months, do
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you feel that the message has been co-opted, a lost cause or fought out right now? >> in some places, it's being fought out. in some places it's always been a lost cause. people are trying to do the right thing, but they are -- gop organizations and campaigns are taking over the tea party movement in some places in the country. >> can you shed light for us on the splits that that's caused within the tea party movement? this tea party express group that's linked to this club consulting firm, how are they viewed by other tea party activists and groups that you know? >> i spoke tonight with one of my friends who is really involved in the birmingham tea party movement. he said that they went along with the tea party stuff initially, found out they were being exploited and usurped but it was too late to get out of the arrangement. they won't do anything like that again. i've got a lot of ties to atlanta. they knew it all along. it's just big government
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republicanism and the atlanta movement, from what i see here. >> do you see a link between that and what seems like profiteering here? $549 a ticket to go to the tea party convention. we know that freedom works was selling speaking slots at the 9-12 march for $10,000. if you gave them $10,000, they'd let you speak at that march. do you see a connection to that and the republican party being involved or are those separate issues? >> i think they're interrelated. one of the thins the tea party movement -- they've served up as genuine grassroots operations. most of these people had no political experience. they weren't even collecting e-mail addresses of people. when someone comes in to help them, yeah, that's great. but what these republican consultants want -- and i'm one of these consultants. i do this for a living. they want those e-mail lists, they want the dollars, to control the organization so they
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can exploit it for their political purposes. unfortunately, the political purposes of most establishment republicans is not the same as a grassroots conservative tea party person. >> libertarian political consultant and blogger steven gordon. really helpful to have your insight on this. hope to have you back soon. >> thank you, rachel. >> thank you. >> coming up on "countdown," keith's retrospective of the year in crazy. something he's calling the whack job jam boree. have you had enough of 2009? be h the family budget? here goes the good old steam. [ pfffft! ] whooa!!!! [ female announcer ] let bounty help... because it cleans the mess with less than the bargain brands. it's thick and absorbent. and really durable. in lab tests bounty absorbs twice as much as the bargain brand. [ steam hisses ] why use more when you can use less? bring it. with bounty. the thick quicker picker-upper. and try bounty napkins. now with new prints.
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they're running the men's room marathon. with lots of guys going over and over. and here's the dash to the men's room with lots of guys going urgently. and then there's the night game. waking up to go. these guys should be in a race to see their doctors. right. those could be urinary symptoms due to bph, an enlarged prostate. but for many guys, prescription flomax reduces their urinary symptoms due to bph in one week. only your doctor can tell if you have bph, not a more serious condition like prostate cancer. when taking flomax, avoid driving or hazardous tasks until you know
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we turn now to our rear view mirror correspondent kent jones. >> let no one say my job is not a rich, varied experience.
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here's just enough. 2009. >> yeah! >> in the tradition of che's motorcycle diaries and malcolmx, publishers are proud to present a triumphant new memoir of an american rebel. carrie prejean "still standing." >> remember this? another online game captures that immortal moment. in this one you score by removing birds this way. so to recap, we've reached a point where you score by puking on everything in your path. >> sometimes bladder control problems can cause unwanted interruptions in your life. doesn't have to be that way. overactive bladder's treatable. >> they want to kill your pets. public option. translation -- lady sparkles dies. wtf? thes abouts with tourism federation decided it will be known as the tourism federation of wisconsin.
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>> we sent our own kent jones to ft. worth to the convention center and had him ask people who is funnier president bush or terry bradshaw. >> terry bradshaw. >> i got to say bradshaw. >> terry bradshaw. >> definitely, by far. ♪ >> saturday was the annual world naked bike ride, in which activists all over the planet got on their bikes to say no to oil dependency and no to the tyranny of underpants. >> i squared my shoulders. miss universe, carrie, i told myself, you got this. it's an inspiring story. for anyone who ever had the dream of stopping other people's dreams. >> well done, kent. appreciate it. it's been an excellent year and just enough. >> thank you so much. >> we'll do another half baked rachel maddow show. it will be a surprise.
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we'll see you again tomorrow night. e-mail us war in the air. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews, up in new york. leading off tonight, dangerous passengers. is it time to start checking? i mean, really checking the way israel does who gets on our airplanes? to quote a writer christopher richens this week, we had better get used to being the civilians who are under a relentless and planned assault from the pledged supporters of a wicked and theocratic ideology. he's talking about islamic extremism and the followers who will die if they can kill more of us. do we start serious checking and interviewing people that get on our airplanes? plus, fighting those extremists.
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radical islam doesn't fear war, it embraces it. how do we attack that movement without playing right into its hands? also, what did hillary clinton's run for the white house tell us? did she lose because voters didn't want her or didn't want a woman to be president? and "newsweek" is out with the list of the biggest rivalries of the decade. it's a hell of a list. who's number one? wait until you hear. check out the "hardball" "sideshow" tonight. and finally, let me tell you what i really think. we have a special guest tonight. my wife, the queen, kathleen matthews is going to join us tonight and interview me about what i think are the most politically potent stories of the year. we start with the question of privacy versus safety. cliff may runs an organization called defense of democracies. and e. steven collins is a radio talk show host from philadelphia. cliff, i want you to start, and i have two simple questions for you. we want to make our airline travel safer, we want to make sure terrorists don't get on the planes, we want to be serious about it, we want it to work. number one, what information can we gain about potential


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